WWE Extreme Rules 2018: Full Match-Card Predictions After Money in the Bank
The ambushes and cheap shots that shaped Money in the Bank will serve as catalysts for what unfolds at WWE Extreme Rules 2018.
Asuka barreled toward victory at Sunday's pay-per-view, closing in on the SmackDown Women's Championship. A surprise return, though, undercut her title dreams. It doesn't take a fortune teller to foresee where she will head next.
Controversy in the Intercontinental Championship match and a Money in the Bank cash-in will lead to collisions at Extreme Rules on July 15, too. In addition, Superstars left off Sunday's card should have more spotlight this go-round.
The following is a look at which grudge matches and title matches are good bets to comprise WWE's next PPV.
Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax vs. Ronda Rousey (Raw Women's Championship)
Alexa Bliss turned her Money in the Bank briefcase into gold in a hurry.
The Goddess of WWE charged into Sunday's Raw Women's Championship and left both challenger and champion fuming. Bliss throttled Ronda Rousey outside the ring and finished off Jax inside, cashing in her newly won contract to claim the title once more.
That's sure to leave Rousey enraged, as she was seconds away from winning. Jax will have her own issues with Bliss, as she left Chicago titleless with a battered arm.
Rousey's first championship win is a moment WWE likely wants to save for SummerSlam. With that in mind, it's likely she first takes on Bliss in a Triple Threat bout before moving on to a one-on-one encounter in August.
Bayley vs. Ruby Riott
Bayley's ongoing issues with The Riott Squad have simmered during a low-key midcard feud.
The Huggable One and Ruby Riott didn't make the Money in the Bank card, but they have a good shot at facing each other at Extreme Rules. Their feud is increasingly personal especially after Riott and her crew pulled an NWO and wrote all over their rival.
The July PPV offers up a chance for a blow-off match with some bite.
Bayley can finally best Riott. Added violence would make use of their brewing animosity. And WWE can delay the inevitable Bayley-Sasha Banks collision until SummerSlam.
Probable stipulations: Extreme Rules, Lumberjack.
Carmella vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women's Championship)
Carmella may have schemed her way to retaining the SmackDown Women's Championship, but she also left her enemy enraged.
James Ellsworth returned on Sunday by distracting Asuka and allowing his old flame to keep her title. Asuka is sure to now charge after Ellsworth and Carmella to seek revenge.
That will lead perfectly into Extreme Rules, where WWE will have any number of stipulations to choose from to enhance this feud. The company could either push for a more personal and intense battle or play up the comedic side with more involvement from Ellsworth.
Either way, The Empress of Tomorrow is far from done with Carmella.
Probable stipulations: No Disqualification, Ellsworth suspended in a shark cage.
Roman Reigns vs. Finn Balor (No. 1 Contender's Match)
Roman Reigns' quest to claim the Universal Championship rolls on.
Never mind that the Chicago crowd skewered Reigns' match with Jinder Mahal on Sunday. Never mind that Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar I and II both flopped. WWE continues to show signs that The Big Dog is destined to face the champ at SummerSlam.
If that's the case, Reigns may have one more hurdle to pass before that.
With the Universal Championship not likely to be in play at yet another PPV, WWE could opt for a No. 1 Contender's bout instead. Finn Balor is a good option to take on Reigns. He has a history with Reigns and is one of Raw's more popular stars.
Braun Strowman's Money in the Bank win, meanwhile, means he doesn't need a match like this. He can take on the champ at any time.
Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy (Cruiserweight Championship)
The Cruiserweight Championship was left out at Money in the Bank and Backlash but is not likely to be snubbed at three PPVs in a row.
Cedric Alexander is likely going to have to fend off a familiar foe in Buddy Murphy. The two men collided in May. It would be easy to continue their rivalry and give the Australian emerging star another shot at the gold.
Murphy has been one of 205 Live's biggest bright spots. It makes sense to give him the stage against Alexander, a man he has thrived against in the past.
Probable stipulation: 2-out-of-3 Falls.
Seth Rollins vs. Elias (Intercontinental Championship)
Seth Rollins had to resort to underhanded tactics to take down Elias.
Despite being the babyface in the Intercontinental Championship bout, Rollins won by holding Elias' tights illegally. That hints at a possible tweak in Rollins' character and leaves the door open for a rematch.
Elias looked excellent against The Architect. WWE should have no issue booking him to challenge Rollins at a second straight PPV.
And thanks to Elias' gimmick and the nature of the Extreme Rules show, we could see a match where the rivals smash each other with guitars.
Probable stipulations: No Disqualification, music-themed Street Fight.
The Deleters of Worlds vs. The B-Team (Raw Tag Team Championship)
At Money in the Bank, the SmackDown Tag Team Championship got the nod over the Raw tag titles. WWE may flip that at Extreme Rules.
The B-Team earned a crack at the champions via a victory in a Battle Royal. It's not clear when their title shot is coming, but even if they take on Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy on Raw, a rematch at Extreme Rules is not hard to imagine.
Things could get weird as the story progresses, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel forced to head to the Hardy Compound or a House of Horrors-type environment. The Deleters of Worlds' quirkiness gives WWE some unique options when it comes time to choose a stipulation.
Probable stipulations: Tornado Tag, match at Hardy Compound.
AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe vs. The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship)
It took four title bouts, a ton of low blows and every ounce of effort in AJ Styles' body to do it, but he finally vanquished Shinsuke Nakamura.
The WWE champ bested Nakamura in a Last Man Standing match on Sunday in what looked to be the climax of their feud. That leaves Styles without a dance partner come Extreme Rules, but not for long.
Samoa Joe, an old rival from their Impact Wrestling days, is sure to be in the WWE Championship hunt. The same goes for The Miz who has been a revelation for the past two years. Daniel Bryan, fresh off a win over Big Cass, is likely to get his own title opportunities soon.
WWE may opt to throw all those warriors on the same battlefield to help set up future rivalries.
The Miz vs. Bryan is destined to happen. Extreme Rules can help launch that long-expected bout. Joe could dig his way into the No. 1 Contender's spot just in time for SummerSlam.
Extreme Rules ended with a Fatal 5-Way last year. The pattern of crowded rings at the event is poised to continue.